Old Rivals Coming To Whale This Week

Old Rivals Coming To Whale This Week

Dartmouth, Harvard In For 7 p.m. Games

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Ingalls Rink has a holiday look this weekend with green and red uniformed players skating against the Bulldogs. The Yale men's hockey team hosts an ECAC weekend set featuring Dartmouth and Harvard before heading into a 20-day break from competition for exams and the holidays. The Big Green are in Friday, followed by the Crimson in a pair of 7 p.m. face-offs that can be seen on the Ivy Digital Network and heard on AM-1340 (wybcx.com). There are some tickets available for Friday, but Saturday's game (other than Yale student tickets) is sold out.

Yale leads the Dartmouth series 107-88-13 and is 11-1-1 in the last 13 meetings. The teams went 1-1-1 last winter heading into the 209th meeting this week… There have been 237 Yale-Harvard meetings in eight different cities. The first meeting was Feb. 26, 1900, in New York, a 5-4 Yale victory.  Yale swept last year's regular season meetings, but Harvard leads the overall series, 138-81-18.

Yale erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to take a 3-2 OT game last Saturday against Merrimack. Chris Izmirlian had the OT winner with 43.5 seconds left, while the other Eli tallies came from two blueliners, Rob O'Gara and Gus Young. Frankie DiChiara, Mike Doherty and Kenny Agostino had helpers as Yale outshot the Warriors 34-15. Alex Lyon needed 13 saves to grab the win in net. The Elis did not have the services of two forwards, who have already combined for nine goals and 15 points this season, and a standout defenseman last weekend due to injuries.

The Big Green (1-8, 1-6) are coming off a 2-1 win over Harvard last weekend at Thompson Arena. Dartmouth erased a 1-0 deficit with goals from rookie Grant Opperman and junior Eric Neiley and 22 saves from sophomore Charles Grant. The home team had a 35-23 advantage in shots. Neiley leads the team with six goals and eight points, while Grant (4.47, .848, 1-3-0) has shared the net duties with senior Cab Morris (4.74, .826, 0-4-0).

The Cantabs (4-6-1, 2-5-1), who have wins over New Hampshire, RPI, Princeton and Bentley, have split their last four games, including the one-goal loss at Dartmouth most recently. Sophomores Jimmy Vesey and Kyle Criscuolo lead the team with seven goals each, while the goaltending has been shared by a junior and a senior. Steve Michalek (3.17, .908, 1-3-1) and Raphael Girard (1.85, .946, 3-3-0) have all the Crimson net time.  

A pair of ranked teams battled with Yale, on the strength of two power-play scores, taking a 4-2 decision from Dartmouth. Four different Bulldogs found the net and Jeff Malcolm stopped 27 of 29 shots last January… An unbeaten streak increased to four as a hot Bulldog squad beat Harvard before a packed house at Ingalls Rink last January. Trent Ruffolo had two goals and an assist, Antoine Laganiere had a goal and three points, while Jesse Root chipped in a pair of helpers as the No. 12 Elis won 4-0.

The Elis average 32 shots on goal and give up 30… Yale's best period has been the second, outscoring opponents 17-7… Goals from two Yale defensemen (Gus Young and Rob O'Gara against Merrimack) are somewhat rare. The last time Yale had two different blueliners hit the net in a game was Feb. 23, 2013, at Princeton (Ryan Obuchowski, Tommy Fallen).

The Bulldogs are ranked No. 8 in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll and the uscho.com poll. Yale was picked first in one ECAC Hockey pre-season poll and second in another.

A limited number of tickets are available for all regular season home games, some are just standing-room-only. The only game completely sold out at this point is Feb. 14 against Quinnipiac.

Yale is off for exams and the holidays until the Russian Red Stars come to town on Dec. 27 for a 7 p.m. game. This weekend is part of a five-game homestand, and the Elis don't hit the road until Jan. 4 at Vermont.

The Yale roster includes players from 12 different states, two provinces and Norway. Five players represent New Jersey, Minnesota has three players while Massachusetts, Florida, and Michigan each contribute a pair.
The United States Hockey League contributed nine players to the Bulldog roster. There are three from the British Columbia Hockey League, four from the Eastern Junior Hockey League and one from the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.  Eight Yale student-athletes came directly from prep schools and one came from the US National Team.

The Bulldogs have just three seniors, including two forwards and a defenseman. There are seven juniors, eight sophomores and eight newcomers. The scoring by class has been very balanced: sophomores have 11 goals and juniors, seniors and newcomers each have eight.

Yale's Class of 2017, which has been averaging four forwards in the lineup over 10 games, has contributed eight goals (2 game-winners) and 20 points while grabbing every minute of playing time between the pipes.  

For the first time in modern history, Yale and Harvard will skate against each other in a non-conference, regular season game at the site of their first-ever meeting. This happens on Jan. 11 at Madison Square Garden in what is called the Rivalry on Ice. Tickets for the 8 p.m. game are available on rivalryonice.com. In addition to the main event, former players from both schools take part in an alumni game on the morning of the 11th along the Hudson River at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

"Ice hockey has never had as provocative a setting as Yale's new $1.4 million David S. Ingalls Rink." That's how Sports Illustrated described the famous building also known as the Yale Whale in a 1959 article. And it's just as exciting today. Ingalls (3,500 capacity), re-dedicated on Jan. 16, 2010, was modernized and expanded during a multi-phase project. The orginal (1958) look remains, but .13,000 square feet of operational space was added along with numerous amenities.
Yale and Fairfield are co-hosting the 2014 NCAA East Regional at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on March 28-29. The Friday semifinal game times are 2 and 5:30 p.m. with coverage by ESPNU. The Saturday championship game is set for 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Tickets for 3-game packages are available now on www.NCAA.com/frozenfour, or through the Webster Bank Ticket Office. This is the fourth year Yale and Fairfield have co-hosted this regional at Harbor Yard.

Bulldog Best: Two goals in four different games... Scored both game-winning goals at 2013 NCAA West Regional.
2013-14: Leads team with six goals... Missed Merrimack game with injury… Scored two goals against SHU on Nov. 16 in his 99th collegiate game… Had 1-1-2 in 3-3 OT tie with St. Lawrence on 11/1... Hit net twice in 5-2 win at Colgate on Nov. 22.
2012-13: Played in 34 games, centering the line with Andrew Miller and Kenny Agostino... Scored GWG nine seconds into OT against Minnesota in West Regional semifinal... Scored GWG in third period of finale against North Dakota to send Bulldogs to his hometown for the Frozen Four... NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team... Scored two goals at Harvard in November win... Fourth on team with 12 goals and 23 points.
2011-12: Fifth on team with 24 points... Seven goals were second among sophomores... Nine multiple-point nights... Goal and three points in home win over Dartmouth... Led team with two shorthanded goals.
2010-11: Second among the Yale newcomers with two goals and eight points... 25 games... Points in consecutive games twice... Academic All-ECAC.
At Taft School:  Played four seasons and was one of three captains for 2008-09 season… Led team with 36 points in 27 games playing center… Founders League All-Star… Team made 2009 New England Quarterfinal playoffs…  Named No. 2 long-stick midfielder in New England lacrosse… Western NE All-Division I lacrosse team… Taft Honor Roll for three years… National AP Scholar… In EJHL: Tallied 44 points in 41 games and led Jr. Bruins with seven game-winning goals… Played on playoff semifinalist…

Drafted in the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft by Pittsburgh; Traded to Calgary (for Jarome Iginla) in 2013
Bulldog Best: 3-2-5 vs. Holy Cross freshman season.
2013-14: Had 2 assists in first conference weekend… Scored 1st goal of year against SHU on Nov. 16.
2012-13: Second-team All-ECAC Hockey... NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team (2-1-3)... 17 goals and 41 points... Tied for team lead in points, second in goals... ECAC Player of Week after road trip to Clarkson and SLU... OT goal at No. 2 Denver in November. 2011-12: Third on team in points (34) and goals (14) in 33 games... Three GWG... ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for three-goal Feb. 17-18 weekend... Came within a step of making the U.S. National Junior Team in December... Scored goals in conseutive games with under 35 seconds left in regulation, one for a win and another to send it to overtime: Beat Dartmouth at Hanover with 34.8 ticks remaining; GTG against SLU with 34.2 left at home. Top game was 2-2-4 against both UConn and Harvard at Ingalls... Honorable mention All-Ivy. 2010-11: Began with a goal and four points through first dozen games and then had a historic January (8-4-12, 9 games)... Named Hockey Commissioner's Association Rookie of the Month... ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week on 1/23/11 after netting three goals in games against Clarkson and St. Lawrence... Led all newcomers with 10 goals and 25 points... His five (3 goals) points against Holy Cross were the most by a Yale rookie since 1980... Academic All-ECAC.
At Delbarton School: School's all-time leading scorer with 261 points over three seasons… Two-time New Jersey Player of the Year… Three-time first-team all-state selection… Played on three state championship teams… 2009-10 team was ranked No. 2 nationally… Had 23-11-34 for the New Jersey Colonials in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League in the fall of 2009…

Bulldog Best: 1-1-2 at Princeton on 2/24/12.
2013-14: Scored goal against Merrimack on Nov. 30.
2012-13: Frozen Four All-Tournament... West Regional All-Tournament... Scored a goal against Minnesota in the NCAA West Regional semifinal and had an assist in the Frozen Four Championship Game against Quinnipiac... Played in all 37 games and had two goals with nine points.
2011-12: Probably most consistent defenseman on team... Played in every game and had three goals with 12 points... Notched two points in series clinching win over Princeton in playoffs.
2010-11: Played in five games... Assist vs. Sacred Heart... Academic All-ECAC.
At Noble and Greenough School: Two-time captain and four-year letterman…  Had 12 goals and 38 points in 28 games in 2009-10… Led all prep school defensemen in scoring as a senior… Team won ISL and was New England Prep School semi-finalists… Went 5-29-34 (29 GP) in 2008-09… Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche (184th) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft… All-ISL junior and senior seasons… 2009-10 All-New England… Honorable mention All-ISL sophomore year… All-ISL lacrosse player who captained team senior year and earned four letters…
Junior Tommy Fallen (Plymouth, Minn.) was a 2012-13 All-Ivy honorable mention pick. He has skated in 82 games and has 50 points, 11th on the school's career list for defensemen... Sophomore Ryan Obuchowski (West Bloomfield, Mich.) was a 2012-13 ECAC All-Rookie Team selection... Rob O'Gara, a second-year man from Nesconset, N.Y., is a Boston Bruins draft pick. He and Gus Young are the two blueliners picked by pro teams.

Newcomer Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn.) has started the last five games and is 3-1-1 in that span. Lyon had a season-high 48 saves (most since Nick Maricic at Harvard in 2012 ECAC playoffs, 2 OT) on Nov. 9 at Quinnipiac. He has a team-high 2.23 GAA and a .920 SP. Freshman Patrick Spano (Montreal, Que) was in net for three of the five Yale wins and has a 2.33 GAA and a .909 SP. Sophomore Connor Wilson (Cary, NC) is the other goalie in the mix.

There are five current Yale players drafted by NHL teams: Gus Young (Colorado), Kenny Agostino (Pittsburgh, Calgary), Rob O'Gara (Boston), Matthew Beattie (Vancouver) and John Hayden (Chicago). Fifteen former Yale players are skating professionally this season including Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins '05 (6-4-10, 20 gp) and Mark Arcobello '10, who has two goals and 12 points in 23 games with the Edmonton Oilers this season.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director - steven.conn@yale.edu